Suns vs Celtics: Go With The Under In Boston

Action Network contributor Andrew O'Connor-Watts provides his betting picks and prediction in a showdown between the Suns and Celtics on TNT on Thursday.

Suns vs. Celtics Odds

Suns Odds +5.5
Celtics Odds -5.5
Moneyline +185 / -225
Over/Under 225.5
Time Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Suns travel to Boston to face the Celtics — less than a week after facing them in Phoenix. The Suns lost the first matchup 117-107, but they were without Devin Booker — who should suit up tonight barring unforeseen circumstances. Eric Gordon (knee) is questionable tonight, but was a non-factor last game, failing to score despite playing 29 minutes.

For Boston, Kristaps Porzingis (hamstring) has already been listed out with a hamstring injury that’s kept him out of three straight games. Jaylen Brown (hip) is also questionable, after missing Tuesday’s game against the Jazz.

Here’s everything you need to know about Suns vs. Celtics on Thursday, Mar. 14 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today’s game.

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Suns vs. Celtics Prediction

Pick: Under 228 (-110)

Suns Betting Outlook

Without Booker, the Suns have struggled to compete, going 6-8 straight up and 5-8-1 against the spread (ATS). With Phoenix’s thin lineup, the absence of someone like Booker is massive and the dip in effectiveness isn’t surprising.

Besides taking on the role of primary or secondary scorer — depending on the night — Booker is also the Suns primary facilitator, averaging a team-leading 11.9 potential assists. His multi-faceted play is something the Suns need in order to have success for an extended period, and with him back, I think they’ll rise to the occasion.

Despite their general disappointment in the market (25-38 ATS), Phoenix has been undervalued against elite teams, which certainly includes Boston. According to Cleaning the Glass, the Suns are 6-2 and have the best offensive rating (119.2) and the second best spread differential (+6.3) against top-10 defenses.

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Celtics Betting Outlook

Brown’s presence will be missed if he ends up sitting another game. He went off for 27 against the Suns in their recent matchup, and while he wasn’t Boston’s leading scorer — with Jayson Tatum scoring 29 — he was more efficient than Tatum, who took 28 shots to get his versus just 21 for Brown.

Porzingis will also be missed, but the compound nature of both being out will exponentially affect the Celtics ability to exploit Phoenix on the perimeter.

When Brown and Porzingis are off the floor, Boston’s 3-point rate decreases by -6.3% and -6.5% respectively. The Suns are 17th in opponent 3-point rate, and with Brown and Porzingis out, the Celtics will look for other, potentially less efficient ways to score in the midrange.

Suns vs. Celtics Picks, Odds

I like the under and Phoenix in this spot, but I’ll go with the under as my official play since betting the Suns is very much dependent on Brown’s health status and whether or not he plays at full strength.

We’ve already seen some market movement down from the opening line of 231 and I like the under all the way down to 226.5.

Pick: Under 228 (-110)